Strong and stable homes build strong and stable communities.

Working in partnership with local families, Habitat creates opportunities for homeownership.

Future Habitat homeowners are active participants in the homebuilding and home buying process. The foundation of our unique program is working in partnership with families seeking the strength, stability, and independence that homeownership provides. Habitat homeowners build and buy their very own homes, creating brighter futures for themselves and their families.

“It has been a long journey for me and now I feel that I’m getting back on my feet. It means a lot for me; I am giving a green light to my kids. Like, I feel that it is a foundation for them and I’m giving them the starting point. They can take it from there and build a better life.”

Sayda, South Puget Sound Habitat Homeowner
see if you qualify

The journey to homeownership can be intimidating.
We’ll be there at every step.

FIND OUT IF I QUALIFY

Read the requirements listed below and be sure you understand them. If you have questions, contact Homeownership staff at [email protected] or 360-956-3456.

South Puget Sound Habitat offers eligible and qualified buyers the opportunity to own a Habitat home. This is real homeownership. Habitat homeowners own their homes, pay a monthly mortgage, pay property taxes and homeowner’s insurance, repair and maintain their homes, and most importantly, earn equity and build wealth.

Criteria 1: Demonstrate a need for adequate and affordable housing

Applicants must not have owned a home for the past three years.

ONE of the following must be TRUE:

  1. The applicant is “cost-burdened” (defined as spending more than 30% of their gross income on housing).
  2. The applicant is living in substandard, overcrowded, run-down, defective, or unsafe housing.
  3. The applicant is living in subsidized housing or a temporary housing situation (ex: living with family members).
  4. The applicant is ready to purchase a home but there is no available housing in Thurston County to purchase in their price range.

Criteria 2: Demonstrate ability to pay

  • Monthly debt payments (including loan and/or credit card payments) must be no more than 43% of an applicant’s monthly gross (pre-tax) income.
  • Applicant cannot have a current open bankruptcy filing or any in the last two years.
  • Applicant must have dependable income that can be verified for the last three years.
  • Applicant must be approved by one of our mortgage partners for a home loan.

Criteria 3: Income eligibility

To be eligible for a Habitat home, your total household income must be below 80% of the area median income (table below). Household income guidelines are set by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and updated each year.

2022 guidelines

Family Income Information

Your household must have at least three years of stable income. Unemployment income cannot be counted. We are able to count non work-related income, such as disability and Social Security payments as stable income if you can guarantee you will receive that income for the next three years.

Additional criteria

Residency
  • Applicant must live or work in Thurston County.
  • Applicant must be a citizen or have an ITIN number at the time of application.
  • Applicant must use the home as their primary residence.

Willingness To partner

Applicants must be willing to complete 500 hours of “sweat equity.” Sweat equity is Habitat’s term for the labor that Habitat homeowners put into building their homes and the homes of their Habitat neighbors.

Households can complete their hours on our construction sites, in our Habitat Stores, through homeowner education classes, or by volunteering in our office. We are able to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

LEARN MORE ABOUT VOLUNTEERING

Complete and submit the online Program interest form and a Habitat homeownership program staff will contact you. Because of the number of requests we receive, it may take up to a week to hear from us.

When Habitat is accepting homeownership applications, the Program interest form is not available. If you want to learn more and the form is not available, please sign up to receive periodic email updates.

Homeownership Program orientations occur periodically throughout the year. When one is scheduled, you will receive an email with details. The orientation is an information session about program requirements, the homes we build, where we are building, and what it takes to qualify. The orientation will take about an hour. We recommend that you attend an orientation within one year of submitting your application.
Once you determine you would like to apply, you should begin to collect the documents we require. In general, you need to provide 6 months of documents verifying the information you put on your application.

APPLICATION PROCESS

If you have submitted a program interest form or emailed [email protected] about your interest in the program, then you will be sent a preapplication form. We will also announce the opening of an application phase on our social media accounts and website.

No documents are required for the preapplication form. If you have questions about the preapplication, contact [email protected] or 360-956-3456 x104.

Reminder: To be eligible for Habitat’s Homeownership Program, your household income must be 80% of area median income.

View Homeownership Criteria
Habitat staff will review your preapplication, making sure you meet the program criteria. If you meet the criteria, you will then receive the full application.

You need the documents you started collecting in Step 4. You also need to include a written cover letter with your application. This is your opportunity to explain why Habitat should select you and your family for a home and provide more details about what makes you and your family unique.

After you complete your application, you need to schedule a meeting with Habitat staff to review your application. We require you meet with staff before submitting your application to ensure it is complete and correct. You will have time to ask questions and address any concerns you may have about your application or the program.

Most applicants do not submit their applications at their first meeting. Instead, many applicants must schedule additional meetings to collect all the required documents. The first meeting is usually the longest, about an hour long. Follow-up meetings are generally shorter.

After you complete your application, you need to schedule a meeting with Habitat staff to review your application. We require you meet with staff before submitting your application to ensure it is complete and correct. You will have time to ask questions and address any concerns you may have about your application or the program.

Most applicants do not submit their applications at their first meeting. Instead, many applicants must schedule additional meetings to collect all the required documents. The first meeting is usually the longest, about an hour long. Follow-up meetings are generally shorter.

If your application is selected by the committee to move forward, Habitat staff will reach out to you. During this conversation, you will be informed of the next steps and expectations and be invited to a meeting to gather more information

Already own a home and need
critical repairs?

If you are an applicant with a disability and need accommodations to access any of our services, please contact the Homeownership Program at 360-956-3456 x104 or [email protected].

Critical Home Repairs Program